Cabinet decision 'a disaster' for regional Qld

You know you're dealing with a well-oiled spin machine when you ask a simple question and a long, pre-prepared response comes back inside an hour.

So it was this week when returning Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced her new Cabinet.

Amazingly, her top table contains even fewer people from the Queensland regions outside of the south-east than last time, which was barely possible considering that number was just three.

The 2017 cohort numbers two - Townsville-based Coralee O'Rourke and Craig Crawford representing Barron River.

On the face of it, it is a disaster for western towns and cities, Wide Bay, Central Queensland and Northern Queensland.

More people live outside Brisbane than in the state capital, yet the representation again has a distinct city feel.

Knowing the questions were coming, our reporter was emailed a response that 'proved' Labor's commitment to the regions - five new assistant ministers have been created, to strengthen the regional presence.

In come Assistant Minister for Veterans Affairs and Assistant Minister of State Jennifer Howard (Ipswich), Assistant Minister for Treasury Glenn Butcher (Gladstone), Assistant Minister for State Development Julieanne Gilbert (Mackay), Assistant Minister for Education Brittany Lauga (Keppel) and Assistant Minister for Tourism Industry Development Meaghan Scanlon (Gold Coast).

None is based in Brisbane.

Those assistant ministers represent an extra $421,460 burden on taxpayers each year. And they have no right to even sit at the Cabinet table and cannot perform ministerial duties on their behalf.

Ms Palaszczuk says she has ticked the regional representation box.

But it doesn't mean she is committed to the regions; just that she is worried about how we will receive news of her Cabinet's make-up.

Spin doctors are paid to put lipstick on the pig. But if we can smell bacon we know there's still a pig there somewhere.

News Corp Australia


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